I absolutely love Yoga Nidra and my intention with sharing a free script is to support and inspire other Yoga Nidra teachers.
I’ve been getting beautiful emails about the Yoga Nidra script that I shared a few months ago – and so far, over 2600 people have downloaded it and it makes me so happy! (If you missed it: I’ve added a link to it at the bottom of this page.) I’ve also had requests for a Yoga Nidra for sleep script – so here you go! ♡
Feel free to use it as much as you like. I do recommend that you “make it your own” though. It doesn’t have to be complicated: for example, just replace words that you normally don’t use, with words that feel more like “you” – and then it will flow better when you guide the Nidra.
Please note that it’s best to have taken a training in Yoga Nidra before you start teaching it. This is because the participants can sometimes have an intense experience. It is not dangerous in any way – but it is important that the teacher informs the participants about it before the class, and we recommend that you choose your words in a special way to make the class as non-triggering as possible (In our courses we weave in techniques from trauma-informed yoga.)
Summary: Create an allowing, no-performance and caring atmosphere, where participants feel welcome just the way they are. Give them permission to lie down as they please, let them move during class if they need to and emphasize that there is no failure in Yoga Nidra (not even if you fall asleep!) etc.
If you’ve done a course with us – please check the “What to say beforehand” section in the Yoga Nidra manual for suggestions.
If you want more inspiration, me and my colleagues Melanie Cooper, Johanna Alvin and Josefin Wikström have recordings on Yogobe, Insight Timer and SoundCloud, both in Swedish and English. (Link below.)
If you want the script as a PDF instead (easier to print) just let me know and I’ll send it to you
YOGA NIDRA FOR SLEEP
♡ GRATITUDE ♡
You might want to inform your students beforehand about the “images of the day” section.
“In the images section towards the end of the nidra, I’ll invite you to visualize images or impressions from your day, focusing on things you are grateful for. It’s very common that it’s difficult to relax because the mind is busy – and this practice gives the brain a chance to digest impressions in a structured way which can soothe the mind. You can choose to either listen my instructions or just allowing images from your day to come and go as you like.”
If you’d rather use another method: just replace the whole images section with “images section option 2″ at the end of this page.
The Nidra is approx 25 minutes long – but that depends on how slow you want to go. Try it out “feel it” before you guide your students to get an idea of speed and if there’s anything you’d like to add/take out.
Welcome to this Yoga Nidra for Sleep.
Make sure you’re comfortable – and you can lie however you like.
And while you’re settling in, I’ll go over, just briefly, what we’ll do tonight.
The Nidra is around 25 minutes long and it’s very gentle – but if anything feels uncomfortable, you always have permission to just open your eyes and move your fingers and that’ll take you out of the Nidra state
I’ll guide you through the practice and all you have to do is to listen to my suggestions – but if anything that I say doesn´t resonate with you – ignore the words in themselves – and allow yourself to drift… and my voice will be a safe sound in the background, a reminder that you’re cared for.
In this Nidra we’ll prepare the body and mind for a good night’s sleep – by calming the nervous system – but let go of any expectations to fall asleep because that can actually block the experience. Sometimes we fall asleep straight away – and sometimes it takes a bit longer and if tonight is one of those nights when you feel resistance to relax – you’ll still get something out of this practice. There’s no such thing as failure in a Yoga Nidra practice. When you explore and soften into the resistance, you get to know yourself better – and you also get the chance to explore the liminal space a bit more.
So, flow with the experience, however it feels tonight.
The theme for tonight’s Nidra is Gratitude.
What we focus on grows. And in this nidra we´ll gently train the mind in noticing and appreciating moments of beauty and gratitude, in everyday life.
Sometimes it’s hard to find it. You might feel a bit low or even sad.
But it´s there – it´s always there – it´s just hiding – a bit like a diamond which has become so dirty and dusty it doesn´t shine anymore – and by caring for it – gently polishing it – it´ll slowly start to shine again.
Let’s start by arriving in the body.
Where are you holding tension right now?
…and bring your awareness to your breath.
Each exhalation is an invitation to soften.
…and if you like: sigh a couple of times, in your own time.
Releasing the tension, a little bit more.
Now bring your awareness to the lower parts of your lungs.
Feeling the ribs expanding as you inhale
and softening when you exhale
Inhaling creating space
Exhaling softening into that space.
Inhaling creating space
Exhaling softening into that space.
ROTATION OF AWARENESS AROUND THE BODY
…and now, we’ll rotate the awareness around the body – focusing on gratitude and self care: by giving yourself a moment to drop down into your body and listen to it – one body part at a time… with self compassion and love.
When I mention a part of the body – bring your awareness there… allowing it to soften…
Starting with the top of the head.
The forehead. The right eye – the left eye – the nose – the mouth – the right cheek – the left cheek – the whole face.
The right ear – the left ear – the back of the head – the neck.
The right shoulder – the right upper arm – the right forearm and the right hand: thumb – index finger – middle finger – fourth finger – little finger – the whole right hand – the whole right arm.
The left shoulder – the left upper arm – the left forearm and the left hand: thumb – index finger – middle finger – fourth finger – little finger – the whole left hand – the whole left arm.
The throat – the collarbones – the heart – the belly (The pelvis)
The right hip – the right thigh – the right lower leg and the right foot: big toe – second toe – third toe – fourth toe – fifth toe – the whole right foot – the whole right leg.
The left hip – the left thigh – the left lower leg and the left foot: big toe – second toe – third toe – fourth toe – fifth toe – the whole left foot – the whole left leg.
The tailbone – the lower back – the middle of the back – the shoulder blades – the whole back.
The back to the neck – and the top of the head.
The whole right side of the body
The whole left side of the body.
Gratitude for the whole body.
The whole body filled with a golden light.
The whole body glowing.
AWARENESS OF BREATH
And now, let your awareness rest in your feet.
Feeling the weight of the heels…
…and observe which other parts of the body is in contact with the bed.
Supported by the bed.
…and maybe that connection gently changes when you breathe.
Inhaling a sense of lightness or space.
Exhaling, being held, supported.
Observing the breath… and the way the body gently moves when you breathe…
If you like: add a soothing rhythm to your breath:
without forcing it,
count to four when you inhale –
…and to six when you exhale.
or choose another ratio…
If it feels uncomfortable – don’t push it. You can always go back to just observing the sensations in your body as you breathe. Your body is breathing for you. It cares for you.
The breath, flowing through you…
Maybe like waves of the ocean
In starlight, a warm summer night.
…and exhaling, washing away what no longer serves you.
Keeping the rhythm (of the breath) if you like… or letting go….
Guide your awareness to your nostrils…
…observing the texture and temperature of the air as you inhale – and exhale.
Maybe a bit cooler as you inhale
…and a bit warmer as you exhale.
Feeling the qualities of the breath.
Inhaling – lightness – drifting.
Exhaling – grounding – softening.
Feeling that you have both qualities within you – light and grounded. Relaxing – and drifting into sleep.
IMAGES & FREE FLOW
(Option: replace this section with the “Images option 2” at the bottom of this page.)
And now to a phase of images or sensations.
We´ll go through images from your day – for the brain to digest information which can soothe a busy mind. You can choose to either listen to my instructions or just allowing images from your day to come and go as you like.
Bring your awareness to something you are grateful for that happened in the evening. If you can´t think of anything – maybe focusing on having a cosy bed to sleep in – safe and protected from the outside world.
…and then to something in afternoon…
…and then to something at lunch time…
…and then to something in the morning…
…and then let images from any time of your day come… and go…
Maybe you’re drifting into sleep…
Maybe your mind is still active… and that is ok too! Remember that there’s no failure in YN. You’re giving your body and mind – a nurturing rest.
Drop down into the body a little bit more and listen to what your BODY is trying to tell you. Where are you holding tension now?
With each exhalation – allowing that part of the body to soften even more.
With each exhalation – releasing, softening…
This practice of Yoga Nidra is now complete.
Sleep well… sleep well… sleep well… ♡
IMAGES OPTION 2
“…and now, bring to mind something that you’re grateful for right now… tuning in to the sensation… exploring how it feels… and if you can’t feel anything special – that’s also a valid sensation… resting in that stillness… of not doing, just receiving…
..and let images and sensations flow…
This practice of Yoga Nidra is now complete